ACHLR Newsletter

  • The May 2023 edition of the ACHLR newsletter is now available online.


Medicine, the law and end of life: From Tony Bland to voluntary assisted dying.

In this podcast, Penny Neller from End of Life Law for Clinicians and ACHLR interviews Dr Jim Howe, a neurologist with over 50 years experience in clinical practice. They explore Jim’s experience of the interaction between law and medicine arising from his time caring for Tony Bland, a victim of the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster, and his involvement in the landmark UK case Airedale NHS Trust v Bland. Dr Howe also discusses his involvement with voluntary assisted dying in Victoria:

Learn Me Right in Health Law and Bioethics series

This series is sponsored by the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at QUT.

Episode 12 – Learn Me Right in Black Bioethics

In the 12th episode of the podcast series, Sinead and Ruthie interview Professor Keisha Ray. Keisha is a professor of bioethics and medical humanities at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Keisha shares insights from her research into black health, including how racism inside and outside of clinics creates poorer health outcomes for black people:

Black Health, written by Professor Keisha Ray, is available now.

Episode 11 – Learn Me Right in Quarantine

In the 11th episode of the podcast series, Sinead and Ruthie interview Professor Scott Kitchener. Scott shares his medical and public health expertise regarding quarantine, and the use of quarantine in Queensland during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Episode Ten – Learn Me Right in Gene Therapy

In the 10th episode of the podcast series, Sinead and Ruthie interview Dr. Christopher Rudge from the University of Sydney. Chris shares his legal and bioethical expertise regarding stem cells, therapeutic genetic engineering, and the significant importance of community input of regulation in medical innovation:

Episode Nine – Learn Me Right in Child Sexual Abuse

Note: this podcast contains content about child sexual abuse. Listener discretion is advised. You can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

In the 9th episode of the podcast series, Sinead and Ruthie interview Professor Ben Mathews about his work relating to child sexual abuse. In particular, we discuss some of the issues and gaps in legal responses to survivors’ civil claims and criminal actions against abusers. Ben also touches on the Australian Child Maltreatment Study – the first Australian national prevalence study – the findings of which are not yet published but will be released next year:

Episode Eight – Learn Me Right in Consent for Treatment for Trans Youth
In the 8th episode of the podcast series, Ruthie and Sinead interview Dr. Steph Jowett about her recently published book: Consent for Treatment for Trans Youth. Steph explains how court involvement in the treatment process for trans youth is complicated and in need of reform:

Episode Seven – Learn Me Right in Abortion and Conscientious Objection
In the 7th episode of the podcast series, Sinead and Ruthie interview Casey Haining, a research fellow at QUT and the University of Melbourne, about her research on abortion and conscientious objection in Australia:

Episode Six – Learn Me Right in Health and Disease
In the 6th episode of the podcast series, Ruthie turns to co-host Sinead to get to the crux of her initial findings in her PhD on the ethics of genetic enhancement by defining health and disease:

Episode Five – Learn Me Right in Source Reliability
Sinead and Ruthie chat to Liaison Librarian Denise Frost about source reliability and how to distinguish trustworthy sources:

Episode Four – Learn Me Right in Conservatorship and Britney Spears
Sinead and Ruthie talk with Dr. Julia Duffy about the law surrounding the conservatorship Britney Spears was held in for 13 years.

Duffy completed her PhD in guardianship law here in Australia, and talks us through whether she thinks something similar could happen here in Australia:

Episode Three – Learn Me Right in Voluntary Assisted Dying
Sinead and Ruthie talk with Dr Jodhi Rutherford about her research into Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD).

Jodhi discusses the complex ethical issues faced by doctors who choose to participate in VAD; and the difficulties faced by individuals trying to access VAD, including finding a doctor who is willing to assist them:

Episode Two – Learn Me Right in the Queensland Mental Health Tribunal
Sinead and Ruthie talk with Dr Sam Boyle about the circumstances in which doctors can treat a person with a mental illness without their consent.

Sam discusses his research into the mental health review tribunal according to the perspectives of lawyers and advocates who represent patients in the tribunal:

Episode One – Learn Me Right in Vaccine Hesitancy
ACHLR HDR student Sam Roach discusses vaccine hesitancy with fellow ACHLR HDR students Ruthie Jeanneret and Sinead Prince in the first episode of the “Learn Me Right in Health Law and Bioethics” series.

They discuss how governments might intervene to improve vaccine uptake, and some helpful tips on how you can approach vaccine hesitancy within your own circle of influence:

The importance of clear triage protocols (24 May, 2021)

Dr Eliana Close talks about the ethical and legal need for clear triage protocols to support clinicians when making difficult resource allocation decisions during pandemics and disasters. With Cate Swannell, news and online editor with The Medical Journal of Australia. Listen now.

Global Law, Science and Technology Seminar Series

Gendered impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic (11th October 2022)

Sara DaviesIn this fifth seminar of the 2022 series, co-hosted by the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR), Professor Sara Davies discussed how gender roles determined women’s risk exposure. These findings demonstrate an urgent need to introduce crisis response measures that differentiate the gendered social and economic impacts of crises, especially for informal workers.

You can watch the presentation below:

Health Technology and Big Data: Is ethical debt inevitable? (27th April 2022)

In the first QUT Global Law, Science and Technology seminar series for 2022, co-hosted by the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR), Associate Professor Bernadette Richards explored the challenges of trustworthy data governance:


Wills formalities in the 21st Century – Promoting testamentary intention in the face of societal change and advancements in technology (3rd November 2021)

In the fifth QUT Global Law, Science and Technology seminar series for 2021, co-hosted by the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR), Professor Bridget Crawford investigated the purposes of traditional will-making requirements and their continued vitality in the context of remotely witnessed wills:


The Autonomous Subject at the End of Life: Autonomy, Vulnerability, and Medical Assistance in Dying

In this third QUT Global Law, Science and Technology seminar for 2021, co-hosted by the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR), Professor Margaret Isabel Hall, Adjunct Professor ACHLR, looked critically at the problematic construction and application of “autonomy” and “vulnerability” and considered the difference it would make to place an alternative account of these ideas at the principled centre of analysis:

Coffee with a Colleague series

In this series, ACHLR researchers will discuss their research and projects with key collaborators and colleagues.

Episode 5 – Transitions in decision-making authority at the end of life: challenges in educating clinicians and changing law and practice.

Associate Professor Shih-Ning Then discusses end of life organ donation decisions with Associate Professor Dominique Martin from Deakin University:

Episode 4 – Intellectual Property and Access to Essential Medicines: Public Health and the Coronavirus COVID-19

Dr Matthew Rimmer, Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation Law, QUT, in conversation with Dr Muhammad Zaheer Abbas, Senior Research Assistant, ARC Discovery Project on Intellectual Property and 3D Printing, QUT:

Episode 3 – Voluntary Assisted Dying in the US and Australia: Comparing Legislative Choices

Dr Eliana Close in conversation with Professor Thaddeus Mason Pope, Professor Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law:

Episode 2 – Skeletons in the Closet: A challenge for medicine, ethics and law

Adjunct Professor Anne-Maree Kelly in conversation with Professor Simon Craig, Emergency Pyhsician, Monash Medical Centre and Jonathan Coman, Student, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Global Studies student, Monash University:

Episode 1 – Non-beneficial treatment at the end of life and decision making in the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr Eliana Close in conversation with Associate Professor James Downar, University of Ottawa, Canada: